When the Roswell Mayor and City Council attempted to make major changes to the City Charter, Sarah Beeson called for transparency and public collaboration.
In February, Roswell Mayor and Council quietly introduced major changes to the city's charter -- granting the mayor additional powers and altering how Council operates. The changes were to be discussed during a City Council meeting at 7pm on Valentine's Day. Sarah Beeson delivered public comments before Mayor and Council in opposition to the changes, noting that the public never had a chance to weigh in:
“This should be something that citizens, residents are given proper notification for, this comes out of a works session, it comes in the light of day.” Beeson recommended creating a charter commission made up of Roswell residents to evaluate changes to the charter.
Beeson stated the process should incorporate members of the public and allow ample time for community comment before making the initiative to pass these changes. She noted that each member of Council and the mayor ran on a campaign of transparency and this initiative did not uphold that goal.
A Future Commitment to Transparency and Public Involvement
The Roswell Mayor acknowledged the public's comments during the meeting and tabled the item until the next committee meeting. Beeson attended the next day's committee meeting to ensure public involvement in the process when the mayor announced the charter changes would be tabled indefinitely until the public could be more involved. Sarah Beeson delivered public comment at the committee meeting to thank the Mayor and Council for tabling the item and for making a commitment to involve the public in the process in the future.